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Mushrooms: Exotic and Nutritious

Por Ana C. López, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -

If you are used to picking mushrooms out of your salad, think twice about it. Mushrooms are nutritious and they can help strengthen your immune system (body's defenses).

Mushrooms are rich in several essential nutrients, such as: copper, iodine, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Also, due to their soluble fiber content, they could help you have a sensation of satiety, or a feeling of fullness for longer periods of time.

On the other hand, mushrooms have a relatively low calorie count. A medium-sized mushroom has about 6 calories. Hence, if you add this to the increased sensation of satiety, we can say that they are good allies in your diet plan to lose weight.

In a study published by the Journal of Nutrition on 2007, the effects of white mushrooms on lab rats’ immune systems were studied. From the results, it was concluded that these could improve the activity of some cells involved in protecting the body against certain viruses, bacteria, and tumor formation. 1

Mushrooms have the advantage of coming in many varieties, and you can use them in numerous recipes. They go well with pasta, potatoes, crepes, sandwiches, tacos, salads, or soups. Your imagination is the limit! However, it is important to remember to cook them well before using them, or to buy them cooked. Never add raw mushrooms to your salads, because they could be toxic.

If you don't know how to start including mushrooms in your diet, we offer you some ideas:



1. Dayong, Wu, et al. (2007). “Dietary Supplementation with White Button Mushroom Enhances Natural Killer Cell Activity in C57BL/6 Mice.” The Journal of Nutrition. 37(6):1472-1477. Revised on July 2008 from


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